St Hippolytus of Rome, On Proverbs
3rd Week of Great Lent – TUESDAY. Vespers.
Wisdom has built a house for herself, and set up seven pillars. 2. She has killed her beasts; she has mingled her wine in a bowl, and prepared her table. 3. She has sent forth her servants, calling with a loud proclamation to the feast, saying, 4. Who so is foolish, let him turn aside to me: and to them that want understanding she says, 5. Come, eat of my bread, and drink wine which I have mingled for you. 6. Leave folly, that ye may reign for ever; and seek wisdom, and improve understanding by knowledge. Tuesday in the Third Week of Great Lent- At Vespers – Proverbs 9:1-6, from the selection Prov 8:32 – 9:11
Christ, he means, the wisdom and power of God the Father, hath builded His house, i.e., His nature in the flesh derived from the Virgin, even as he (John) hath said beforetime, "The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us." As likewise the wise prophet testifies: Wisdom that was before the world, and is the source of life, the infinite "Wisdom of God, hath builded her house" by a mother who knew no man, — to wit, as He assumed the temple of the body.
"And hath raised her seven pillars;"that is, the fragrant grace of the all-holy Spirit, as Isaiah says: "And the seven spirits of God shall rest upon Him," But others say that the seven pillars are the seven divine orders which sustain the creation by His holy and inspired teaching; to wit, me prophets, the apostles, the martyrs, the hierarchs, the hermits, the saints, and the righteous.
And the phrase, "She hath killed her beasts," denotes the prophets and martyrs who in every city and country are slain like sheep every day by the unbelieving, in behalf of the truth, and cry aloud, "For thy sake we are killed all the day long, we were counted as sheep for the slaughter."
And again, "She hath mingled her wine" in the bowl, by which is meant, that the Savior, uniting his Godhead, like pure wine, with the flesh in the Virgin, was born of her at once God and man without confusion of the one in the other.
"And she hath furnished her table:" that denotes the promised knowledge of the Holy Trinity; it also refers to His honored and undefiled body and blood, which day by day are administered and offered sacrificially at the spiritual divine table, as a memorial of that first and ever-memorable table of the spiritual divine supper.
And again, "She hath sent forth her servants:" Wisdom, that is to say, has done so– Christ, to wit — summoning them with lofty announcement.
"Whoso is simple, Let him turn to me,"she says, alluding manifestly to the holy apostles, who traversed the whole world, and called the nations to the knowledge of Him in truth, with their lofty and divine preaching.
And again, "And to those that want understanding she said"– that is, to those who have not yet obtained the power of the Holy Ghost – "Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled for you;" by which is meant, that He gave His divine flesh and honored blood to us, to eat and to drink it for the remission of sins.
Priest Seraphim Holland 2009. St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
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